Is KJ Apa’s Archie Leaving Riverdale?

Image Credit: Kailey Schwerman/The CW

Riverdale’ season six does not hold back when it comes to shocking deaths and supernatural plot twists. Whilst fans are enthused by its 5-episode event, called ‘Rivervale,’ which dives headfirst into the world of horror, they are also reeling from the shocking death of one of the main characters of the show — Archie Andrews. Of course, we do expect bad things to happen in ‘Rivervale,’ which clearly has a penchant for dark magic. But Archie’s sacrificial death, especially at the hands of his own friends, leaves our mouths hanging open. Plus, it paves the way for worries about the reasons behind his sudden murder. In particular, many are concerned that perhaps real-world situations pertaining to KJ Apa are the reason behind Archie’s absence. So, let’s find out if KJ Apa’s Archie is leaving the show.

Is KJ Apa’s Archie Andrews Leaving Riverdale?

In season 6 episode 1, titled ‘Welcome to Rivervale,’ we see Archie and Betty looking forward to their life together in Rivervale. Immediately, it becomes apparent that Rivervale is not the same as Riverdale, and that the characters in ‘Rivervale’ and ‘Riverdale’ share similarities but are also starkly different from each other. “Everyone gets to be the darkest version of themselves in Rivervale, which is fun,” stated the show’s creator, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Thus, ‘Rivervale’ seems to be an alternate reality of sorts, a space where the characters of ‘Riverdale’ can explore the wonders and horrors of the supernatural world.

In the sixth season’s premiere, we see how Archie has a nightmare about a bomb explosion. This brings to mind the events at the end of season 5, wherein Hiram Lodge leaves a bomb under Archie’s bed; seconds later, we see Archie’s house on fire. Fans expected season 6 to start off by addressing the fate of Archie and Betty post-explosion. However, ‘Rivervale’ starts by exploring Archie and Betty’s relationship and desire to have a child.

Then, in a shocking twist, we see Betty and other townsfolk agreeing to sacrifice Archie in a pagan ritual. Betty, having used Cheryl’s fertility poppet and “sin pie” in order to conceive a child, is willing to give up Archie now that she is pregnant. Cheryl, seeing Archie as a threat to her maple syrup business as well as recognizing that his “pure heart” can solve the town’s issues — from barren maple trees to sick babies — stabs him and removes his heart. The townsfolk watch, enraptured, knowing that their problems will go away since the town’s sins have been unloaded on Archie’s shoulders.

Obviously, this is quite a grim scenario. Surely Archie, one of the show’s central characters, can’t remain dead, right? We don’t think so. ‘Rivervale’ seems to be an alternate version of ‘Riverdale,’ so although Archie is unquestionably dead in the town of Rivervale he is unlikely to be so in Riverdale. Additionally, even in ‘Rivervale,’ Archie might be brought back using necromancy. We do know for a fact that Cheryl is embracing her witchy side and Sabrina Spellman of Greendale, from the ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,’ will be seen in a cameo role in season 6 episode 4. Thus, KJ Apa is not leaving ‘Riverdale’ as his character is expected to return for the other episodes in season six.

Additionally, Aguirre-Sacasa mentioned that the sixth season will focus on some of the show’s classic relationships, which includes the love triangle between Archie, Betty, and Veronica. Thus, it is likely that Archie will be coming for the remainder of the season. Moreover, Apa, in early 2020, signed a three-year contract which ensures his presence on ‘Riverdale’ till 2023 at the very least.

Thus, fans can rest easy knowing that they will eventually get to see more of Apa’s Archie in the show’s sixth season. Apa is not leaving the show, so sit back and enjoy the terrifyingly thrilling ride that ‘Rivervale’ has to offer even in Archie’s absence. Oh, and get ready for more of your favorite characters to die (and come back later) since Aguirre-Sacasa has revealed that the horror-fuelled world of ‘Rivervale’ will feature an alarmingly high body count.

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